Texas students begin STAAR testing

SHERMAN, TX-- Heather Reyna is the PTA President and has two children at Neblett Elementary, in Sherman.

She said her 3rd grade son, Justin, is nervous about his first STAAR test.

"He is anxious. He's not sure what to expect. He wants to do his best, but he doesn't know what's coming yet."

This is the first year for the STAAR test in Texas schools. It's replacing the TAAKS test. Starting this week it will be given to 3rd through 11th grade students.

"It's an extremely thorough assessment that really ensures that the children in Texas are competitive with students nationally and internationally, so that's one of the reasons why we are doing this."

Guidance counselor, Vickie Giger, said parents can help their children with test anxiety.

"Keeping a routine, having a good nights sleep, try to keep distractions as minimal as possible. Wake up on time, do not be late to school, they don't have to worry about breakfast because breakfast is served on testing days. And try to talk to them about that anxiety."

Giger also recommends looking at the Texas Education Agency web site. It gives helpful hints to parents and even practice test questions. It also has specific resources for each test.

"We've been going over some of the math skills and writing and the reading and practicing things at home so to help ease him, so he can say, 'Oh, I've seen this before'," Reyna said.
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Students across Texas are beginning STAAR standardized tests this week.

Exams start Monday for the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness in English I and III writing.

On Tuesday, students take 4th grade writing exams; math exams for grades 5 and 8; and hold the first day of writing tests for seventh graders. Subsequent tests will follow throughout the week with Friday as a makeup day.

STAAR is replacing the much-maligned Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills.

Its scores had been set to count 15 percent of ninth graders final grades in core subjects. But the state decided to allow districts to defer that requirement for one year.

STAAR costs $90 million annually to administer, or $3 to $7 per test given. That's slightly more than its predecessor cost.

Looking for STAAR information?

As Texas prepares to launch the new STAAR testing program on Monday, here are quick links to some of the most popular test information items: testing calendar, frequently asked questions document, TAKS vs STAAR comparison, test security procedures, and released test questions, which are at the bottom of the main STAAR resources page.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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